Top news: India and Saudi Arabia say they will strengthen efforts to combat terrorism
The biggest stories of the day.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman on Wednesday vowed to increase pressure on any country that aids terror activities. In a joint press statement, the leaders said the countries are on the same page when it comes to regional peace and stability.
United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday described the Pulwama attack as “a horrible situation”, and said it would be “wonderful” if India and Pakistan got along. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino urged Pakistan to fully cooperate with the investigation into the attack.
Meanwhile, mild tremors were felt in Delhi and the National Capital Region on Wednesday morning after an earthquake of 4.0 magnitude struck Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district.
Here are the biggest stories of the day so far:
Aadhaar details of enrolment operator stolen and misused, show UIDAI records: Report
The biometric details of an Aadhaar operator in Haryana’s Jind was allegedly stolen and misused, with the credentials being used in multiple cities in a single day. The Unique Identification Authority of India had barred Vikram Sheokhand in November 2018 from working as an Aadhaar enrolment operator for five years, after they detected that his credentials were being misused.
Lok Sabha elections: BJP is desperate to form an alliance in Uttar Pradesh, claims Mayawati
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Wednesday claimed that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is threatened by her outfit’s alliance with the Samajwadi Party. The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said the BJP is now desperate to form a pre-poll alliance of its own.
Pakistani prisoner allegedly murdered by inmates in Jaipur Central Jail, say police
A Pakistani inmate in the Jaipur Central Jail was allegedly murdered after an altercation, Inspector General of Police for Prisons said. The incident comes days after a suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district killed 40 Central Police Reserve Force personnel. India’s ties with Pakistan have deteriorated since the attack.
Kochi: Massive fire breaks out at godown of footwear brand
A massive fire broke out at the office and godown of a footwear brand in Kochi, Kerala, on Wednesday. According to preliminary information from fire and rescue, there were no casualties in the accident. The fire broke out around 11.30 am on Wednesday on the fourth floor of a six-storey building that houses the godown of Paragon footwear brand.
Pulwama attack: PDP delegation visits Uttarakhand after alleged harassment of Kashmiri students
A delegation of the Peoples Democratic Party from Jammu and Kashmir visited Uttarakhand on Tuesday to assess the situation following alleged harassment of Kashmiri students in the wake of the Pulwama attack. Inspector General of Police (Garhwal) Ajay Rautela said a delegation of Rajya Sabha member Faiyaz Ahmed Mir, former MLA Aijaz Ahmed Mir and other party leaders arrived in Dehradun on Tuesday.
Pulwama: Photos of Imran Khan, Pakistan cricketers taken down at Bengaluru’s Chinnaswamy Stadium
The Karnataka State Cricket Association joined the Cricket Club of Indiaand Punjab Cricket Association in removing the portraits of Pakistan cricketers, including Prime Minister Imran Khan to protest the Pulwama attack. The photos were removed from the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
Ayodhya case: Supreme Court’s five-judge Constitution Bench to hear the matter on February 26
The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that the Constitution bench hearing the Ayodhya case will sit on February 26 at 10.30 am. The matter, which was earlier scheduled to be heard on January 29, was adjourned as Justice SA Bobde of the five-member bench was not available.
PM Modi, Saudi crown prince agree that pressure must be increased on countries that aid terror
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that he and Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had agreed that pressure must be increased in all possible ways on countries that aid terrorism. The remark came in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack last week. Salman is on a visit to India and met Modi on Wednesday afternoon.
Pulwama attack: Hizbul Mujahideen warns of suicide attacks by children in a purported audio clip
The Hizbul Mujahideen extremist group on Tuesday warned that children will soon carry out suicide bombings against Indian security forces in Kashmir. In an audio clip purportedly of Hizbul Mujahideen operational commander Riyaz Naikoo, he is heard saying that suicide attacks will take place because the condition in the Valley is of a “do-or-die situation” for Kashmiris.
PM Modi, Saudi crown prince agree that pressure must be increased on countries that aid terror
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that he and Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had agreed that pressure must be increased in all possible ways on countries that aid terrorism. “We also need an action plan to tackle extremism so that violence and terror do not misguide our youth,” the prime minister said. “I am happy that Saudi Arabia and India share these beliefs.”
‘Friendship with Imran Khan seems more important than India for Navjot Sidhu,’ says Arvind Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday lashed out at Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, claiming that the Punjab minister is more concerned about his friendship with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan than India’s well-being. Kejriwal said that Sidhu’s statements about the Pulwama attack, in which 40 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed, had hurt public sentiments.
‘No harassment of Kashmiri students, we’re in touch with colleges’: Union minister Prakash Javadekar
Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday refuted reports about alleged harassment of Kashmiri students in parts of the country after the terror attack in Pulwama last week. “There is massive anger at the Pulwama incident in the country, but I want to make it clear that there is nothing like that [harassment of Kashmiri students],” the minister said. “We are in touch with all institutes, no such incident took place.”
Sterlite protests: Amnesty India seeks inquiry after activist S Mugilan goes missing
Amnesty India on Tuesday demanded that authorities in Tamil Nadu initiate an investigation to find environmental activist S Mugilan, who has been missing since February 15. Amnesty India said Mugilan disappeared the day he held a press conference in Chennai where he accused senior Tamil Nadu police officials of colluding with the Sterlite plant to “orchestrate violence in Thoothukudi during the protests in May 2018” against the copper smelter plant.
SC questions prolonged detention of illegal immigrants, asks Centre and Assam to discuss solution
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices L Nageswara Rao and Sanjiv Khanna was hearing a petition filed by former bureaucrat Harsh Mander about the condition of detention centres. The court raised questions on the prolonged detention of illegal immigrants and said they should not lose their human rights.
Maharashtra: Leopard spotted at Thane mall, search under way
The leopard was first seen in the parking area of Korum Mall. Passersby then alerted police and forest officials, but the animal could not be found in a search operation for over two hours, regional disaster management cell chief Santosh Kadam said.
Saradha chit fund scam: SC adjourns hearing of CBI’s contempt plea after judge recuses himself
The court adjourned the hearing of the plea after Rao said he had appeared for the state as a lawyer and therefore cannot hear the case. The bench also comprised Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna.
‘BJP has several PM faces, we haven’t proposed Nitin Gadkari’s name,’ Shiv Sena tells Indian Express
Senior party leader Gadkari, a Union minister, has recently made statements that have been viewed as being against the BJP. Last month, Sanjay Raut wrote in his party’s mouthpiece Saamana that Gadkari is “now waiting for the hung Lok Sabha” – suggesting that he could be a frontrunner for the prime minister’s post if the BJP fails to get a majority on its own.
Hindi author and literary critic Namvar Singh dies at 92
Singh had authored over a dozen books, and had received the Sahitya Akademi award for literary criticism in 1971 for his work Kavita Ke Naye Pratiman. His other important works include Chhayavaad and Dusari Parampara Ki Khoj, DNA reported. The author was also the editor of Janyug and Alochana magazines.
Ericsson case: Anil Ambani found guilty of contempt, asked to pay dues in 4 weeks or face jail time
Justices Rohinton Nariman and Vineet Saran held that three Reliance companies had had no intention of paying the money they owed Ericsson and that their conduct amounted to contempt. They also rejected Reliance Communications’ unconditional apology.
Tamil Nadu: Parents say toddler contracted HIV through blood transfusion, hospital denies charges
The child’s father told reporters in Coimbatore that his daughter was admitted to the hospital in July 2018 for a heart ailment. “When she developed complications, she was again admitted this month and during tests, it was found that she had contracted HIV,” he said. “She was not taken to any other hospital.”
France to move proposal at UN to designate Jaish chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist
France is set to move a proposal at the United Nations to include Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar in the global terrorist list. The Pakistan-based militant outfit had claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attackon a Central Reserve Police Force convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, which killed 40 jawans.
National Commission for Women demands speedy police inquiry into Barkha Dutt’s alleged harassment
The National Commission for Women on Tuesday asked Delhi Commissioner of Police Amulya Patnaik to initiate a “speedy investigation” into the alleged harassment of journalist Barkha Dutt on social media. The panel’s chief, Rekha Sharma, also asked the Delhi Police to provide feedback in the case at an early date.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar says he will contest Lok Sabha polls, but nephew, grandson won’t
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar said on Tuesday that he will contest the Lok Sabha elections. However, his nephew Ajit Pawar, grandson Parth Pawar and Ajit Pawar’s nephew Rohit Pawar will not contest, he said.
Pulwama attack: Mehbooba Mufti rejects Imran Khan’s statement, but says he deserves a chance
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday rejected Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s promise of action on the Pulwama attack, but said he should be given a chance. Mufti said a dossier on the terrorist attack at the Pathankot air base in 2016 was submitted to Pakistan, but no action was taken to “punish the perpetrators”.
Earthquake of 4.0 magnitude hits western Uttar Pradesh, mild tremors felt in Delhi, NCR
Mild tremors were felt in Delhi and the National Capital Region on Wednesday morning after an earthquake of 4.0 magnitude struck Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district, said the United States Geological Survey. The tremors were felt around 8 am in several parts of Haryana and Punjab as well. Some reports claimed the tremors were because of another earthquake of 4.6 magnitude in Tajikistan.
Goa: Digvijaya Singh to blame for Congress’ failure to form government in 2017, claims party leader
Former Goa Chief Minister and Congress legislator Luizinho Faleiro on Tuesday blamed senior leader Digvijaya Singh for the party’s failure to form a government in the state in 2017 despite being the single largest party.
Startups to be exempted from ‘angel tax’ for funds raised in last seven years, says Centre
Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday announced that startups will now be exempted from “angel tax” on funds raised from investors in the last seven years. The Centre hopes this move will boost investments in startups. Angel tax is the tax payable on capital raised by unlisted companies via issue of shares.
Pulwama attack: UN secretary general urges India, Pakistan to show ‘maximum restraint’
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged India and Pakistan to de-escalate tension and to exercise maximum restraint in the wake of the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir last week. “The Secretary General stresses the importance for both sides to exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps to de-escalation, and his good offices are always available should both sides ask,” Guterres’ spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.
Donald Trump calls Pulwama attack ‘a horrible situation’, says he will issue a statement on it
United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday described the Pulwama attack as “a horrible situation”, and said he will issue a statement on it after getting reports. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino urged Pakistan to fully cooperate with the investigation into the attack.
Saudi crown prince begins India visit, PM Narendra Modi welcomes him at Delhi airport
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday night welcomed Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Delhi airport. The Saudi prince’s visit comes a day after he signed deals worth $20 billion in Pakistan. Salman will be in India for two days and is expected to hold extensive talks with Modi on Wednesday.